steven75

    I was told that my signal strength and actually usability of smart phone would increase if I purchased a new phone with the LTE 12 700mhz band. Well my wife and I both purchased brand new Samsung S7 phones and it has not helped at all. There are countless places indoors where the phone simply doesn't function properly. It has decreased signal strength and internet access is almost nonexistent. I was told by a senior engineer that I "should" have good signal. Should and actually having usable signal/data are two different things. When will this be resolved? If T-Mobile advertises 4x signal coverage, then stand by it.

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      • stevetjr

        Re: Poor indoor signal and internet usability

        And the engineer confirmed you are in an area that they have turned Band 12 on?  I know here in Atlanta (actually about 30 mi NW) while I never had huge coverage issues when I went into a big box store or office building I would struggle for signal but since they turned Band 12 on here those areas have improved immensely and while I get deep into an office building sometimes I still can have a few issues, I have asked and everyone says yea "signal stinks" in here so not just a TMO issue.

         

        One way to see if you device is on Band 12 (or what band it is on) is dial *#0011# on Samsung phones it will show you all the radio stats. Note that in most markets (except mostly rural) Band 12 is a secondary channel and your phone will only roll over to it when T-Mobile's primary LTE frequency Band 4 (in most markets) becomes too weak.  The reason for that is because using Atlanta as an example because I know the area, Band 4 is a 20x20Mhz channel (Wideband LTE) while for most all markets Band 12 is only a 5x5Mhz channel.  Low Band (Band 12) also just is inherently doesn't have the same bandwidth as Band 4 which is at a much higher frequency (1700/2100) which is why they only want phones on it that can't get the primary channel. At my place the first month after I moved here I couldn't get any signal or occasionally maybe make a call but it was pretty intermittent, now with Band 12 active when I am at my place I am always on Band 12 but do get decent service, is it as fast no but can still generally count on 20-30Mbps but if I walk just up the hill out of the bowl the neighborhood is in I can get 50-70Mbps most of time.  Just note that generally unless you are in a market that is solely Band 12 (mostly rural areas) that you will never see more than 2-3 bars when connected to Band 12 because by the time you start getting that strong of a signal on Band 12 your phone is also now seeing a reliable Band 4 signal.

         

        Have you installed the latest update to your 7's?  It just came out less than a week ago and I had noticed the phone kept dropping out of LTE back to 4G a lot but seems to have gotten a bit better about it since the update. Not sure if that was a specific fix in it but it is one thing I have noticed.

         

        Here is a good map (unofficial) but pretty reliable on where T-Mobile Band 12 holdings are and where live sightings are;

         

        Map of T-Mobile's 700 MHz spectrum - Spectrum Gateway

          • steven75

            Re: Poor indoor signal and internet usability

            Thank you for your reply. I live in South Florida and we have Band 12; however, as you stated that doesn't help much since the phone tries to cling onto Band 4 way too long, even when it is literally unusable. I also wanted to confirm that I did install the latest update and it hasn't help. My wife had the same issue when she still had the S6, so not S7 specific issue. The signal just fluctuates too much, even with the phone sitting on the table.

              • drnewcomb2

                Re: Poor indoor signal and internet usability

                At one relative's standard, suburban home I find much the same thing. I'll have LTE in the front yard and drop to 3G in the back yard. The signal will go away and come back EDGE then back to LTE. I put it down to being at a spot in-between towers where the phone can't decide what it wants to do. I don't go there often enough for it to be a big concern. Not sure what I do if I lived there.

                • tmo_mike_c

                  Re: Poor indoor signal and internet usability

                  Hey steven75 I want to share a few thoughts on your phones signal fluctuation in these areas. Because of a few different factors such as tower distance, buildings, and network traffic, it's not completely uncommon to have some signal changes even when you're not moving. Some of the places you mentioned like airports and malls can have many folks connected to that tower which can influence how your phones perform in that location. With that being said, you could contact our T-Force team through the Facebook or Twitter links below. They can file a Service Complaint for the specific locations you're going and have engineers revisit this, and look into it further.

              • drnewcomb2

                Re: Poor indoor signal and internet usability

                How are you measuring signal strength?  As for indoor service, I can build you a building that no cell signal can get into or out of. Any carrier would have zero service inside such a building. It is impossible for a carrier to predict how their phones will perform inside any randomly chosen building. the 4x signal statement means that they can cover 4x the area with one tower using 700 MHz low-band than they can cover using ~2 GHz mid-band. This applies mostly in rural settings.

                  • steven75

                    Re: Poor indoor signal and internet usability

                    I use two different app on my phone. The first one is "Network Signal Info Pro" and the second one is "LTE Discovery." I understand that building can be built with zero service inside, but when you are talking about large malls, departments stores, and the airport, then I have an issue with that.

                      • drnewcomb2

                        Re: Poor indoor signal and internet usability

                        Large malls and "big-box" stores are a particular issue, with their metal structure, no windows and "airlock" entrance ways. I sometimes shop at one Walmart where I get full signal outside and almost no signal inside. I think there is a femto-cell located in electronics because I pick up a weak signal in the back of the store. Often I just make sure that I'm hooked up to the store's WiFi so that the phone can fall back to WiFi Calling. AT&T and Verizon have been more proactive about installing DAS and femto-cells inside large shopping malls. T-Mobile has a way to go catching up on inside service.